I fell in love with this Mussaenda shrub soon after we arrived in Kigali, but I didn’t know its name until tonight after some internet research.
I think my Mussaenda (with orange flowers and white bracts) is M. frondosa, a native to Indo-China and Malaysia, although there is a species native to West Africa, M. erythrophylla or Ashanti blood or red flag. This may actually be the shrub in our garden that I’ve been thinking is a poinsettia. I’m going to have to do a little more research on that tomorrow. [Yes, it is M. erythrophylla.]
Mussaendas are hardy to (U.S.) zones 9-11. They can reach heights from 3′ to 10′, and different species and cultivars can have bracts and flowers in orange, white, red, yellow, or pink. They need a moderate amount of water and sun.
Thanks to Fine Gardening magazine’s Garden Photo of the Day for featuring some of my cycad photos yesterday. Here are a few more:
8 thoughts on “Mussaendas”
Your foliage sings out beautifully! The shrub has interesting pleated leaves. Do the grey lower surfaces sparkle when the wind blows? That is why I have Brachylaena, where I can see the leaves dance in the wind.
I’m going to have to go and look. We’re starting to get little rainy season storms now. The leaves remind me of the leaves of dogwoods (cornus), which are important trees/shrubs in the mid-Atlantic U.S.
Love the curly cycads. Glossy leaved cycads are common in gardens here in Queensland, but I’ve never seen any quite like those!
The leaves in the photos are quite young. They will eventually age to be dark green and rather glossy.
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Never seen an orange moosanda! lovely.
I dropped in to see Mussaenda frondosa, My neighbour grows one and it hangs gracefully into my garden. Thank you for the name.